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Aberdeen 0 - 1 Heart of Midlothian

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Heart of Midlothian

Scottish Premiership
Heart of Midlothian scorers: A Dauda 64.

12/05/2016 | KO: 19:45

Dons Succumb to Stuffy Hearts

The possibility of posting a new record points tally this season slipped away from the Dons as they were defeated by Hearts on a frustrating evening at Pittodrie.

Beset by injuries, Aberdeen were unable to filed a conventional centre-forward, but at the other end of the park, 19 year old Scott McKenna made his full debut alongside Ash Taylor.

The Dons enjoyed the best of the early possession and the first real opportunity came their way after nine minutes. Kenny McLean got down the left before bending a cross through the six yard box, just in front of Graeme Shinnie who couldn't quite get a touch. McLean caused trouble again four minutes, this time on the right, his cross drawing an unconvincing punch from Hamilton, troubled by the glare of the sun, an advantage Aberdeen didn't use enough.

In the 14th minute, the Dons got the ball wide again, Niall McGinn skipping away from three defenders before powering to the by-line, his pull back just eluding the advancing Shinnie. Missing the physical presence of Rooney and Church through the middle, the Dons were having to be more intricate in their attempts to find a way through a massed Hearts defence.

There was plenty of width to Aberdeen's game and in the 22nd minute, McGinn's low cross from the right was deflected into the goalkeeper's hands from a deflection at the near post.

A couple of minutes later, Oshaniwa collected the first yellow card of the evening after chopping down Jonny Hayes on the edge of the box. Taking the free-kick from a central position, McGinn clipped the ball over the wall but it wouldn't come down quickly enough and flew over the bar.

Hearts finally got a sight of the Aberdeen goal after a spell of pressure in the 34th minute, Buaben hitting a bobbling shot from 20 yards, Adam Collin getting down to his right to tip the ball around the post before collecting the bal well at the back post from the corner.

Shay Logan found himself behind the Hearts defence in the 38th minute as he chased down a long clearance from Ash Taylor, cut inside before hitting a skimming left foot shot from nearly 30 yards, Hamilton saving comfortably.

Hearts made a more aggressive start to the second half, Dauda and Taylor battling for the ball over 15 yards, Taylor just doing enough to force Dauda to shoot wide from a tight angle in the 51st minute.

The Dons responded three minutes later, Hayes darting past two challenges to put a cross into the six yard box, Hamilton punching clear under pressure. The Irishman tried his luck again in the 58th minute, smashing a shot towards the far corner from 30 yards, Kitchen getting in the way to divert the ball wide. A good spell for the home side culminated in a great effort from McGinn in the 59th minute, Hayes and Jack working the ball from right to left, McGinn stepping inside and curling a right foot shot inches wide of goal.

Against the run of play, Hearts grabbed the lead in the 64th minute after winning a free-kick in a central position 20 yards out. Ozturk struck the ball well, over a ducking Hearts striker who created a hole in the wall. Collin could only parry the shot and Dauda was the quickest to react inside the box, stabbing the ball in from inside the six yard box.

It could have been worse a couple of minutes later when Juanma got free to collect a long ball down the left but he over-hit his cross, Dauda unable to get on the end of it.

From there, Hearts were happy to sit in and though Aberdeen continued to dominate possession, they struggled to find a clear cut opening. Joe Nuttall came on for his debut with nine minutes to go, but for all that the Dons huffed and puffed, Hearts saw the game out to post the clean sheet that won the game.
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Collin, Logan, Shinnie, Considine, Taylor, Flood (Nuttall 81), Hayes, Jack, McKenna (Smith 71), McLean, McGinn.

Unused Subs: Reynolds, Robson, Storie, Wright, Lennox.

Bookings:  Jack (63).
Heart of Midlothian Teamsheet
13.Jack Hamilton, 02.Callum Paterson, 05.Alim Ozturk, 17.Juwon Oshaniwa (24: foul) 24.John Souttar, 08.Prince Buaben Abankwah, 23.Perry Kitchen, 25.Abiola Dauda (20.Gavin Reilly 79), 44.Dario Zanatta (11.Sam Nicholson 68), 16.Arnaud Sutchuin-Djoum, 19.Juan Manuel Delgado Lloria (22.Jordan McGhee 90). Unused Subs: 01.Neil Alexander, 14.Miguel Pallardo Gonzalez, 28.Liam Smith, 37.Lewis Moore.

Bookings:  17.Juwon Oshaniwa (24).
Attendance: 10,087
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Andrew Dallas